“The more gratefully we fix our minds on the Supreme when good things come to us, the more good things we will receive, and the more rapidly they will come; and the reason simply is that the mental attitude of gratitude draws the mind into closer touch with the source from which the blessings come.”
― Wallace D. Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich
That Wattles quote is the best explanation I’ve seen for how gratitude can scientifically change your life. It’s been proven that gratitude helps you anchor positive feelings into your mind and into your body. When times get tough, you have some reserves to tap into that will allow you to gracefully overcome any challenges or obstacles.
Sandy Gallagher once shared a story about how she was going through a difficult time in her personal life at the same time as she was transitioning from her role as a lawyer to becoming the Proctor Gallagher Institute’s new CEO. When she was at breakfast with Bob Proctor one day, she told him about her struggles and asked him to give her three things she could implement that would have the greatest impact on her life. Bob told her to first, send three people love every day in her mind, and second, ask for guidance for the day. For the third thing, he told her the easiest and most impactful thing she could do was to write down ten things she was grateful for, every single day.
I can tell you from personal experience that it can be difficult to find things you are grateful for. But through the daily practice of pushing through this exercise, I was able to see more things to be grateful for, not just at the end of the day, but all the time. When you first start doing this exercise, you might only come up with a handful of things, and that’s okay. The more you make this list every day, the easier it will become.
Sometimes your gratitude list is full of simple items—a great cup of coffee, your hair looks good today, you hit all green lights on your way to the office—but as time goes on, your gratitude answers will get deeper and deeper.
Sending Love to Difficult People
For Sandy, her difficult breakup with her ex-husband made it tough for her to feel love or gratitude, which was blocking all the positive feelings she needed to help her move forward. She struggled to send her ex anything other than mental daggers. She decided to picture her Labrador, Bear, in her mind. Bear had this habit of jumping up, putting his paws on her shoulders, and giving her a Bear hug, something she loved. Sandy would purposely recall this memory (something we talked about as one of your six mental faculties in a previous post) and in her mind, morph the dog into her ex-husband. For a split second, she could send her ex love. It was difficult, but the more she did it, the better she became about letting go of the negative feelings.
As we’ve mentioned before, whatever you focus on is what you attract. With the way your brain is wired, your Reticular Activating System serves as the filtration system for your thoughts. When information comes into your mind, the RAS starts looking for a match for what you already know to be true. If you’re the type of person who always sees the glass as half-full, your RAS is going to show you more evidence of pessimistic thoughts. If you start seeing the things you are grateful for, your RAS will give you more reasons to feel grateful.
When you are operating from that positive place of gratitude, your mind automatically opens up more solutions to whatever obstacles and challenges you have to overcome. Life is never going to be a cakewalk. However, you can tap into your gratitude reserves whenever things are tough, and it will increase the positive neurochemicals in your body. That makes the situation easier to get through, and gives your brain the space to create solutions.
To build those reserves, we have to consistently practice gratitude. It can’t be a once and done exercise. The brain changes with experience and practice. The more gratitude you practice, the more the brain learns to tune into positive things in the world and in your life. Studies show that focusing on a positive experience for just twenty seconds is enough to create a positive structural change in your brain.
There’s actual science behind gratitude, and how it can shift everything inside of you, which will make you more successful at work, in your relationships, and with your goals.
Starting the Gratitude Journey
Begin doing this today by getting a journal and start writing down three things you are grateful for, first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed. If you do this exercise before you get bombarded by news, emails, calls, and work, you start your day in a good mental state where you are in control of you, no matter what happens. When you do the same exercise before you go to bed, it makes the mind focus on positives while you are sleeping. You’re essentially embedding these good feelings and thoughts in your subconscious mind, which is what sets up your energy and your point of attraction. You’ll automatically wake up in a more positive state.
You can also try incorporating this short practice of mentally refocusing into your morning routine. Put on some relaxing music, get comfortable, and then take a deep inhale through your nose. Hold it a moment, then exhale fully and completely. Do this again, and this time exhale while also releasing any signs of tension, or anything that is no longer serving you in a positive way. Let it go. Take one more deep breath and do that again. With your mind space clear, come up with ten things that you’re grateful for. Don’t just write them down, actually feel them, taste them, hear them. What does the amazing cup of coffee you had this morning taste like? Smell like? How did that first sip feel? What you’re doing is grounding yourself in these positive feelings which helps you shift your energy.
Next, I want you to mentally send love to three people who are dangling from your last nerve. I know this might not be easy, but try it anyway. Bring those people to your mind’s eye and energetically send them love and healing from your heart. If you’re having trouble, do what Sandy did and think of something that brings you joy, then allow that feeling to morph into the other person, even if it’s just for a couple seconds.
Finally, sit quietly and ask for guidance for the day. This is where your inspired actions will come from and create that mental GPS for achieving your goals.
For more information on how your mind can change your future, go to RatRaceReboot.com and sign up for our newsletter. There’s a free download waiting for you there. And remember, everything is created twice, first in your mind and then in physical form. So let’s start creating the future of your dreams!